Stages of Breaking Up As A Millennial

Kean Esguerra

Breaking up with someone is one of the most complicated things one may experience in life. Sometimes it’s messy, sometimes it’s peaceful, but one thing’s for sure: it will always hurt.

A break up is a process, you can’t just go through it in one seating. And although we have different coping mechanisms and processes, according to numerous experts (The Internet!), there are seven most common stages of a break up one will experience.

As a #millennial living in this social media frenzy century, one may argue that breaking up is harder compared to the past. So as a fellow Millennial, let us delve on the stages of breaking up, in the context of our generation.

1. Shock

Or most millennials refer to as, Shook or #Shookdt. This is the most usual initial reaction to the break up. Whether or not we saw it coming—we will still experience shock.

This is the stage where you will have many questions, like what went wrong or how did you get to that point. And the most on point reaction will be “What the hell happened?”. 

We will also question if the break up is real or not. This shock may momentarily cause a momentary pause on our always active social media pages.

2. Denial

This is the point where we still don’t fully accept what’s happening. We still feel like everything will be solved and that things will still work out between you two.

We will crave normalcy, thus we will continue to text, call, snapchat and skype our ex like nothing’s wrong. The mantra at this point is “This is not happening” or “We can still work this out”.

This is our way to momentarily put on hold the break up, so we deny the feelings and facts at hand. We still cling unto our relationship, that’s why we still haven’t changed our online relationship status to “Single”.

3. Bargaining

The break up is getting to you and you will enter “Desperation” mode: Desperate to get your ex back at all cost!

You will promise to be more understanding, to be sweeter or to be a better version of yourself. You will even negotiate with him, promising abrupt change you know you can’t commit to, because you yourself knows that change can’t happen overnight.

This is the stage in your life where you will look back and cringe at the things you did. Cringe at all the DMs you slid and all the “I want you back” selfies you Snapchatted.

4. Anger

Rage is the only thing on your mind right now, and you associate this feeling to “moving on”. It’s just normal to feel this after all the bargaining.

Welcome to the anger stage, the most fun part of the break up, if you ask me. At this point you will hate your ex for all his contribution to your break up. You will basically hate their mere existence.

All the things that will come out of your mouth will be bitterness towards your ex, bad mouthing every chance you get. This is the part where you will post cryptic (yet obvious) tweets or quotes to show how angry you are towards your ex. Also, you will obsess on how you can seek revenge or get payback.

But don’t worry, it’s totally normal to feel the angst you feel. After all, we are all just humans. We get hurt and it’s just expected that our reaction to hurt is anger. Just try to control it, so you won’t actually hurt someone. Take the higher road babe.

Note: This stage is usually worse if your ex cheated on you, because there’s more fuel to that resentment inside of you.

5. Relapse

A relapse is the rarest to happen among the stages of a break-up. It may not happen to everyone, but when it does it will be challenging.

Relapse, usually associated to addiction, and by definition means one going back to their old ways, practice or vice. In the context of post-break up, you re-awakening your love or feelings for your ex is a relapse. (Man you have tried so hard to let go, what happened?)

It may mean that your feelings never went away or that motherfucker has such a hold on you that you are drawn to him no matter what. This awakened love is tricky, it can be stronger and harder to fend off, despite the fact that this love is already tainted.

What’s worse is if you act on it, because friend, you know it’s not going to be the same again. There’s a reason why it did not work out.  You will only eventually hurt yourself more, if you fight for it. But then again, sometimes giving it another chance is needed, just make sure it’s worth it and it will make you happy in the long run.

6. Depression or Sadness

Crank up that Adele song and bring out a spoon for your gallon of ice-cream, because this period is called depression or sadness stage. Sometimes, we can refer to this stage as the water-works stage, because there’s going to be a lot of tears. But be prepared because this is the hardest part of a break up, and the reality of the loss of your significant other will hit you in the face.

You will miss everything about your relationship. His smile, his scent, his voice, his warm hugs and everything related to him. You will grieve on your memories and you will mourn on your future.

For some, this period is the longest and may last longer than the other stages. You may also either feel the need to share those “Artidote” posts or isolate yourself from the world by deactivating your social media.

7. Acceptance and Hope

According to South Border: “There’s a rainbow always after the rain”, and indeed it is true!

The journey going here will not be easy, you will have to go through hell before reaching this point. And even though it is the farthest stage, but man, it will be the sweetest.

This is the point where you will come in to terms that not all things will work out and that there’s a greater reason for your break up. Whether or not you got cheated on, or things got toxic, or you guys simply fell out of love—you are going to be okay with it.

Along with this acceptance comes hope. Hope for happier days in the future, hope that you will find someone better or hope that you can fall in love once more.

At this point, you may be ready to go out and enjoy your time being single. Or maybe you are ready to try dating again, so you try tinder, or talk to a long time crush of yours. The possibilities are endless. Whether or not you are ready to date or you want to enjoy being single, know that at this point, you are healed, moved on, and is happy. At the end of the day, what’s important is your happiness.

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